September 6, 2014 Shabbat Bible Study
©2014 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Shemoth 39:1-32 – 1 Melechim 7:13-51 – Tehellim 68 – Ivrit 8:1-5
Links for this week:
Shemoth 39.1- – This week’s subject is the coverings for the Mishkan’s furnishings, the Ephod/Breastplate/Shoulder-boards, and the High Priest’s service garments.
The phrase, “As Y’hovah commanded Moshe” is used 7x in this chapter, and it’s variant “as Y’hovah HAD commanded Moshe’ once. This tells me that Moshe got the instructions directly from Y’hovah as the work proceeded, and that Betzaleel and Aholiav performed the work exactly as Moshe gave the instructions, and that when all the work was inspected, it was exactly as Y’hovah HAD commanded Moshe. I think this shows that Betzaleel and Aholiav performed one thing at a time, as the orders came from Y’hovah through Moshe and that they did as Ruach inspired them to do. He would assign the task and show the pattern to be duplicated and then the craftsmen would do exactly as they were instructed.
V.1 says that they made the clothes of service. Stone’s Tanakh says they made knit vestments for the service. These were made of the blue, purple and scarlet without fine linen or gold, so it had nothing to do with the Ephod of High priest’s tunic, which had all 5 textiles woven in, like the Mishkan and the inner veil. V.1 is about the coverings for the furnishings of the Mishkan – the Ark and Mercy Seat, the Altar of Incense, the Table of Showbread and the Menorah. These had to be covered because they were for only the priest’s eyes to behold, and that only within the outer veil, and in the case of the Ark, only by the High Priest on Yom Kippur in the Kodesh Kadashim within the inner veil. I assume that the High Priest would place the covering on the Ark, and possibly on the other furnishings, for transport when the pillar of cloud was taken up and Israel had to go.
Vv.2-3 speak of the making of the fabric for the Ephod of all the same stuff as the Mishkan and veil. The gold was worked in cunningly, but was it to portray Angels, as it did in the veil and Mishkan? This is not specified, but the inference can be drawn.
Vv.4-5 speak of the shoulder boards of the Ephod, made with ‘ouches’ of gold, each with an onyx stone cut with rabbets around the edges and raised lettering, like they were embossed, cut into the stone like a signet ring. These gold ‘ouches’ were enclosed in the fabric Ephod. I assume it was a single piece of gold with a molded setting in the base and a top that folded over the base with a hole to hold the stone in place, like the Breastplate. A signet ring was a king’s ‘mark’ placed on a stone in a ring that he or his chamberlain would use to seal the wax on important documents. As an aside, do you suppose that may be how people will be marked in the end of days, by their respective king’s signet? Possibly! Not certainly.
Vv.8-14, the Breastplate was a joint effort of Betzaleel and Aholiav. The gold that was cunningly worked into the fabric of the veil, the Mishkan and the High priest’s garments was pounded or rolled out to a very fine thickness and then cut into very fine filaments to be woven right into the cloth of the various service items. It doesn’t specify that the Ephod or Tunic had angels woven cunningly into the fabric, but the Mishkan and Veil absolutely did.
If the threads are listed in order of use, gold was the predominant one by volume, but that would also include the Breastplate for the Ephod, which was made of a plate of gold 1 cubit long and ½ cubit wide folded over. In one half the 12 holes were formed, which would fold over to hold the precious Stones in place. The other ½ would probably have settings molded, into which the Stones would fit rather snuggly. The Stones were cut with a kind of rabbet on the edges and the name of the tribe for which the individual stone stood embossed on its exposed surface. The folded over portion of the gold plate would then hold the stones in place, covering the rabbets and exposing the embossed tribal names. The finished Breastplate was then a span x a span, ½ cubit x ½ cubit. I think this was a normal cubit because it doesn’t specify ‘after the cubit of the sanctuary’. I ASSUME the cubit of the sanctuary is different than the ‘cubit of a man’ because it will be in Ezekiel’s Temple, where the cubit is a cubit and a handbreadth, or 1¼ cubits – where a cubit of a man = about 18”, a span 9” and an handbreadth 4½”. Therefore, I think a cubit in the Mishkan and the court was = to about 22½”. This is all assumption, and could be incorrect. It could be talking about a normal cubit. The reason I think it may be different is found in
For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man. (Deuteronomy 3:11) [That would be 14.5 feet by 6 feet.]
and then we juxtapose that with
And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man’s hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth: so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed. (Ezekiel 40:5) [Reed = 11’ 3½”.]
Why specify ‘cubit of a man’ in Deuteronomy 3 and the special cubit in Ezekiel 40 – 48 for use in the 3rd Beit haMikdash, if there were not 2 different cubits used for different applications, one for general use and one for sacred use? So, that is a deduction.
The Breastplate was permanently attached to the Ephod with the ropes of gold and the laces of blue. The Breastplate was never to be detached. The Ephod’s robe was all of blue woven with a Head-hole right on the loom, so the head-hole wouldn’t tear when the High Priest stuck his head through it. At the bottom of the robe were bells of gold and pomegranates of blue, scarlet, fine linen and purple woven into the seam, a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate; gold, blue, gold, scarlet, gold, purple, and etc.
Vv.27-28 are about the fine linen coats, headdresses and ‘holy underwear’ for the priests. Then in v.29, they made a girdle of the 4 fabrics to set the Aharonic priests apart from the Levitical Priests.
Vv.30-31 – The last thing the craftsmen made was the crown of gold that attached to the High Priest’s turban/bonnet. It was a plate of gold with raised lettering, like a signet. The relatively thick gold plate was possibly carved like the stones; or possibly beaten, like the menorrah. It was attached by blue laces around the back and also over the top of the turban.
All the blue we’ve seen is techeleth, turquoise blue, which is very like the blue of a clear sky and therefore represents the heavens. The gold, of course, represents purity, majesty and perfection. The scarlet represents the blood of the covenants, the purple represents royalty and the dual nature of redeemed men, and fine linen represents the righteous standing of the saints who are ‘clothed in the righteousness of Elohim’ in/by Moshiach.
Starting in v.32, we see all the stuff of the Mishkan was brought to Moshe to be approved, anointed and built. Moshe had been there to give the instructions on what to build and what it should look like, as he was the only one who went up the mount and was translated into the throneroom of Y’hovah and his heavenly tabernacle;
Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. (Hebrews 8:5)
It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. (Hebrews 9:23)
But Moshe had NO HAND in the making of ANY of the stuff of the Mishkan. He gave instruction and trusted Ruach to guide the minds and hands of the craftsmen. And when it was done, Moshe looked at it and saw that it was good. Shades of the Creation of the Universe, eh? In vv.32, 42 and 43 it says that the children of Israel did exactly what Y’hovah had told them 3 times. The note on v.43 in the Chumash is representative of the orthodox thinking on this (bottom of pg.536 – “So they had done.”) We’ll see Moshe construct the Mishkan next week. Suffice it now to say that the 81 year-old Moshe did not build it alone, although no Israelite helped him. Moshe constructed what he could himself, but to drape the Mishkan curtains over the 18’+ boards took a miracle, as did the placement of the mercy seat on the Ark – it weighed at least 214 pounds and was 55 inches long, 34 inches wide and only Y’hovah knows how thick? Kind of unwieldy for Schwartzenegger in his prime, much less Moshe at 81. Q&C
1 Melechim 7:13-51 – Shlomo had his own Betzaleel. His name was Hiram, a son of an Israelite woman of the tribe of Naphtali. Was he the same Hiram who would be king of Lebanon? Possibly, but I am unsure. He is not the Hiram who was David’s ally and who sent an embassage to Shlomo on his ascension to the throne of Israel, but he MAY have been the son of that Hiram and the heir to the throne. The kings in those days earned their place by their savvy, either in war-making or in business. I think Hiram may have done both. And if David’s friend was a businessman, he probably trained his son to work and be as good at his chosen field as he could be. A metal-worker, like a gold, silver or even brass-smith? I’d think there would be good money in it (meant as understatement).
The first things Hiram made for Shlomo were Yachin (he will set up), and Boaz (likely means in strength b’oz), the pillars that held nothing up, but stood at the entrance to Shlomo’s Temple. Or Beit haMikdash. These pillars were 12 cubits in circumference and 18 cubits high. The formula for the circumference of a circle is 2πr, so the pillars were each ≃ 44” in outside diameter. Assuming the brass to be as thick as the brass of the molten sea (a hand breadth = 4½”), the interior diameter was about 35”. The volume of each of these things is humongous. That they were hollow is a given, as that much solid brass would have been next to impossible to move, much less lift into place. Besides, after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed this temple, the pillars were lying on their sides and the solid brass capitals (chapiters) nearby. Here the capitals are recorded as being 5 cubits high, but in 2Ki.25, they are only 3 cubits high when the pillars are standing, but 5 cubits when they are lying down. Where did those 2 cubits go? Solution to the problem? There was something INSIDE the pillars holding them up there until Babylon came into town. And when they came to the Temple, they were settled 2 whole cubits further INTO the pillars. Whatever was INSIDE before wasn’t there anymore. Michael Rood’s idea of a ‘sand-hydraulic’ elevator system to remove the Ark and other furniture to safety helps explain where they went, now, doesn’t it? Is it true? Y’hovah only knows. But it is possible. In doing a bit of research on b’oz, I found that עוז means taking refuge or finding safety, so yachin b’oz means “He will set up in refuge or safety”. Curiouser and curiouser. Do you suppose Shlomo had knowledge of the end days of his kingdom and made arrangements to have the ark and other furnishings removed to safety quickly?
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. (Proverbs 22:3)
Who wrote that? Oh, Yeah! Shlomo wrote that! When the sand ballast was gone, the hollow brass pillars would have been made very top-heavy with the 5 cubits of solid brass nearly 3 cubits in diameter resting on top. A relatively mild earthquake or a block and tackle and sturdy rope could have brought them down almost without effort.
Vv.23-26 – here is Hiram and the molten sea. A line of 30 cubits stretches around the sea, and one of 10 cubits stretches across it. That’s pretty close to exactly right. In fact, it may be EXACTLY the volume of the water in the sea, if the 10 cubits is the INSIDE diameter of the molten sea. The molten sea is a sphere cut in half with an outside circumference of 30 cubits or 56’3” and a radius of 112.5 inches (5 cubits) or 9’3½”, with walls 4½” thick. THIS thing was humongous, as well. The volume of this ½ sphere is roughly 9000 gallons, or 2000 baths, so a bath = 4½ gallons. The sea sat upon the backs of 12 brass oxen, 4 sets of 3 facing the cardinal directions, symbolizing the tribes in their camps or the gates to the New J’lem or both, I think.
Vv27-39 – Hiram made 10 identical bases of brass 7×7 feet and 5½’ high, for 10 brass lavers, each holding 180 gallons of water. The number 10 deals with divine ordinalal completeness. Perhaps it has to do with the 10 tribes of the north somehow, or perhaps it speaks of the 10 Sefiroth (http://tzion.org/Tree_Sefiroth.htm), ‘emanations’ (def. = something emitted that is abstract, but perceptible) of El Shaddai. Undersetters are like chocks to make the stuff immobile.
In v.41 we get another detail for the pillars; they have ‘bowls’ on top. Perhaps that’s the ‘lily work’ from earlier in the chapter. Do you think the ‘bowls’ could be a kind of funnel to help add the ballast of sand? There was so much brass (v.47) used that they didn’t bother counting or weighing it. Suffice it to say that the brass was of prodigious mass.
The ark, the Table of Slhowbread, the Menoroth (10 of them – Sephiroth? Tribes of the north? Ordinal perfection?) and the altar, as well as the utensils for the service in the Sanctuary were made of pure gold. So Shlomo brought all the stuff David had set apart to Y’hovah’s service in the Temple and all that Shlomo had made into the Temple for dedication. Q&C
Psalm 68.1- – Whenever the word ‘arise’ is used, I think of resurrection.
Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes.
He arose the Victor from the dark domain and he lives forever with his saints to reign.
Let Elohim arise! Let all his enemies FLEE from before him!
Y’hovah Elohenu arose in the person of Yeshua. That is not to say that Y’hovah died with Yeshua for it is impossible for the Almighty to die, but he raised Yeshua from the dead and lives in him to this day and forever. In v.4 we can see that it is NOT forbidden to use the Sacred Name; it is, in fact, commanded, as even the Stone’s Tanakh says
Sing to God, make music to his Name; extol he who rides upon the highest heavens, with his Name, YAH, and exult before him.
The note there says,
He guides and directs the heavens as the rider on His steed. Praise him with his Name, YAH, which denotes him as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.
In v.5, we are admonished to care for the widows and orphans, for in so doing we are most like Yeshua and Y’hovah. In v.6 he tells us that he takes that widow and orphan, assigning them a family to care for their needs. He delivers his own from their bondage, but leaves the rebellious in their exile. In that they were in exile, I infer these were his at one time, have since turned away and reaped the consequences of their rebellion.
In vv7-9 he went forth before us, shaking the earth and lowering the heavens to testify to his great power before the enemy. He provided all our needs in the wilderness; food, water, spiritual sustenance. The rain he sent was both physical and spiritual. When we get weary of our daily burdens he sends a refreshing rain of whatever we who are following after him need at the time. Our burden is shown in v.11 – sharing the glad tidings of deliverance to Shalom by our Y’hovah.
In v.13, the word ‘lien’ is the past perfect of the word lie, as in lie prostrate. It refers to Yeshua lying dead in the grave for 3 days and nights, but rising as a dove arrayed in splendor, as in v.1. The hill of Elohim is obviously Zion, where Y’hovah will dwell forever. In v.18 we see Yeshua raised to his majesty on high, having led captivity captive. I think this speaks at least partially of the early firstfruits, when Yeshua took a contingent to his Abba as a bikkurim of the dead.
14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. (Isaiah 5.14)
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) (Eph.4.9-10)
Baruch Y’hovah Yeshuenu, who loads us daily with benefits. What has he done for you TODAY? Selah.
Vv20-35 – one answer to the question is, he has made you an ‘issue FROM death’! If you are his, spiritual death has been defeated for you and physical death will be fully defeated in just a very short time. In vv.22-23 Y’hovah foretells the deliverance of Israel from their Babylonian dispersion 400 year before they even go into exile, and then extends that prophecy to the end of days – the days that I think we are in now. The dogs and the enemy have seen what he can do and they are scared spitless. And what are we doing while he is defeating his enemies? We are singing, playing and dancing before him who is going to fight for us. We won’t even pick up a stone to put in a sling.
The 2 houses are depicted in ‘little Benyamin and Yehudah’ and “Zevulon and Naftali”. Are those ‘pieces of silver’ in v.30 the ½ shekels for the maintenance of the Temple? Are the kings of the earth coming up to J’lem year by year to give their temple tax of ½ ounce of silver? “Amein” to scattering those who delight in war. May their designs come to nought in OUR day, as well. Our strength is from Avinu’s Ruach in us. Y’hovah is why and how we stand; it’s not of ourselves. Q&C
Ivrit 8.1-5 – Chapter 7 expounds on the MelchiZedek high priesthood of Yeshua and Ch.8 explains what the last 7 chapters were about. Of ALL the author had said to this point, THIS was the reason for it. Heb.8.1 is the bottom line of Heb.1-7. We HAVE such an high priest, Yeshua haMoshiach, set on the right hand of Y’hovah’s majestic throne in the heavens. If we relate the throne of Majesty in heaven to the Tree of Sefiroth we can easily see that it relates to the Eyn Sof, the One who is without bounds or end, and therefore ‘unknowable’ to our finite minds.
When we’ve been there forever more,
Bright, Shining as the Son;
We’ve no less days to sing Yah’s Praise
Than when we’d first begun!
That he is set on the right hand shows that he is the one who works the power of the Almighty in all of his Creation, and that he does so through his love for, and compassion on, his Creation.
Yeshua’s MelchiZedek High Priesthood is BETTER than Aharon’s, because he doesn’t need to offer for his own sins, and his life does not end. But that isn’t all; the venue in which he serves is better, as well, because it was not made by men’s hands, but by Y’hovah El Shaddai himself. This was the pattern that Moshe used to construct the Mishkan, and as glorious as the Mishkan was, it was but a shadow of the true Kodesh Kadashim in which Yeshua served/serves/will serve. Vv.3-5 begin to make the argument that since Yeshua is of a better priesthood in a better venue, he also has to have a better offering that Aharon. And Rav Sha’ul takes the next 2 chapters to make the case that that is EXACTLY what Yeshua did. But our reading doesn’t go that far. The reading supports the Torah portion, which support is actually seen in v.5. But v.4 says that here on earth, while the Temple yet stood in the world of Malchut, Yeshua had no standing to offer sacrifices or offerings of any sort, being of the tribe of Yehudah, not even Levi, and much less of the family of Aharon. Yeshua could not perform offerings in the earthly Tabernacle or Temple. But as a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, he can in the true Tabernacle. His priesthood’s venue is of a higher realm; the realm of Atziluth and the Eyn Sof. Q&C